Canberra, Jan 28 (IANS) Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced Tuesday that Queen Elizabeth II has approved his recommendation to appoint retired General Peter Cosgrove as Australia’s next governor-general.
Abbott said in a statement that General Cosgrove is a “remarkable” Australian who served with distinction until his retirement as the chief of the defense force in 2005, Xinhua reported.
Cosgrove, who will become the 26th governor-general of Australia, will take up his appointment in March when incumbent Governor-General Quentin Bryce’s term ends.
Cosgrove’s army service include postings in Malaysia, Vietnam, Britain, India and the US. In 1999, he became commander of the International Forces for East Timor (INTERFET) which oversaw Timor-Leste’s transition to independence.
In 2000, he was appointed chief of the army and in 2002 he was appointed chief of the defense force, an office he held until his retirement in 2005.
Cosgrove was appointed chairman of the Operation Recovery Task Force after Cyclone Larry devastated Far North Queensland and led a successful operation till its completion in early 2007.
In recognition of his service, Cosgrove was named Australian of the Year in 2001.
“I can’t think of a finer Australian or a more suitable one to serve as governor-general and, in this great office, make a contribution to the leadership of our country,” said Abbott.
Cosgrove held positions on several boards, including the boards of Qantas and Cardno which he has relinquished upon accepting the offer to become governor-general.
He is married and has three sons.
Abbott also thanked Bryce for the contribution she has made since her appointment in 2008, saying she has discharged her duties as governor-general “with distinction and grace”.